How to Select the Right Criminal Justice School near Sunshine Louisiana
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Sunshine Louisiana. But once you have selected the kind of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you tackle choosing a college that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the institution you choose must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by searching for colleges that are nearby your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other factors that you must evaluate prior to making your ultimate selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other criteria that you might wish to include in your vetting process when picking the best criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Sunshine LA
Similar to many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Sunshine LA. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education makes available additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a specific aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for individuals interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Generally taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for obtaining any one of the four degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specializations to choose from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after watching countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a program and a school that focuses on that area would obviously be the best decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be best to research all of the degree alternatives available from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Sunshine LA area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the program you have selected, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first before selecting a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Schools
Many students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they may just prefer the flexibility of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools located within the United States that offer degree programs online similar to those offered on-campus. And for many Sunshine LA students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online schools are frequently lower in cost than on-campus options. Tuition can be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this type of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start looking for Sunshine LA area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are a large number of colleges to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating schools. Naturally cost is a significant consideration and you will need to select a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out several others as well, such as accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to confirm that the degree program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it will also aid in securing student loans or financial aid, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Sunshine LA employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As stated previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is important as well. It’s particularly critical if you are entering the field with no relevant prior job history. Without any prior experience, Sunshine LA employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can get school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be highly regarded for a specific degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Sunshine LA schools you are reviewing. A low percentage might be an indication that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also essential that the colleges have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a substantial network of contacts to assist students in obtaining positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will most likely consider when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the college you pick will have to be within commuting distance of your Sunshine LA home. Certainly attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to go to a college not in your state of residence, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes allow for little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes before making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Louisiana criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sunshine LA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Sunshine LA?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Sunshine LA, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Sunshine area where your school campus will be located.
In the late 1970s, he met Kool Moe Dee, Special K and DJ Easy Lee and started performing at the age of 15. L.A. Sunshine joined with other rappers Kool Moe Dee and Special K as well as DJ Easy Lee to form the influential old school hip hop group the Treacherous Three. In 1981, they moved to Sugar Hill Records along with another Enjoy Records act Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The Treacherous Three became well known for their singles "Feel the Heart Beat" and "Whip It". They were featured in the 1984 film the breakdance cult-movie Beat Street performing the song Xmas Rap with Doug E Fresh, but disbanded shortly afterwards. When Kool Moe Dee went solo, Hill went with him and performed on stages around the world but spent most of his time on tour doing drugs.
In 2011, Hill penned an autobiography titled "L.A. Sunshine: A True Story, The Real Accounts" which details his difficult childhood, the perks and downsides of his time as an entertainer, and the depression, homelessness and suicide attempts that filled his early adult life.
Hill has worked several part-time and seasonal jobs in after-school programs and as a teacher's aide at several New York area educational facilities including Promise Academy Charter School in Harlem, Imagine Me Leadership Charter School in Brooklyn and the now closed Rice High School.
Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Sunshine LA
Making sure that you choose the ideal criminal justice school near Sunshine LA is crucial to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, confirm that the college has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Schools. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing in order to narrow down your options and make the best selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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